Spanish River High Principal’s Holocaust Stance Yields Strong School Board Response

News Palm Beach County Schools

UPDATE 1:04p MONDAY, JULY 8, 2019: Principal William Latson has been reassigned. Click here for latest. BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Spanish River High School Principal William Latson allegedly told a parent in an email that “Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened” as the parent questioned poor Holocaust education in the school. Latson, according to the Palm Beach Post which broke the story on July 5th, apparently sent many emails with the same sentiment.

School Board President Frank Barbieri Jr., Esq., just issued this rare summer Sunday response:

“As Board Chairman, and on behalf of The School Board of Palm Beach County, I take this opportunity to reaffirm the Board’s commitment to Holocaust Education.


The School Board of Palm Beach County is, and always has been, committed to teaching all students, in every grade level, a historically accurate Holocaust curriculum; one which leaves no room for erroneous revisions of fact or the purge of anti-Semitism. 


Every generation must recognize, and learn from, the atrocities of the Holocaust’s incomprehensible suffering and the enduring stain that it left on humankind. It is only through high quality education, and thought provoking conversations, that history won’t repeat itself. 


The Palm Beach County School Board is invested in, and proud of, the District’s nationally recognized Holocaust curriculum which far exceeds that which has been mandated by the State of Florida (F.S. 1003.42) since 1994.
As a School Board, the six other members and I, set policy requiring that state mandated provisions be followed.


In addition to embedding Holocaust education into the curriculum of all grade levels, the District offers Holocaust Studies electives in high schools and organizes multiple programs and projects of study for all grade levels. We are one of the few school districts that has a curriculum administrator dedicated solely to Holocaust Studies education. That administrator was recently presented with the nationally recognized, Robert I. Goldman Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education.


The School Board is also dedicated to our valued partnerships with numerous Jewish and Holocaust education centers.


As a Board we are committed to doubling down, educationally, with school and community visits geared at enlightening any student or staff who doubts or questions the undeniable facts of the Holocaust. 


The School Board of Palm Beach County appreciates the feedback from those in our community who have made their voices heard following the publication of email messages between a parent and a principal.


It is only through thoughtful conversation that we continue to best serve the educational expectations and needs of our students.


It is now the duty of School District Administration to press forward with their ongoing review of the situation.


As Board Chairman, I assure you that this situation is being investigated at the highest levels of the District Administration.”